Gear Technologies, a smart-contract layer supporting the Polkadot blockchain framework, has raised $12 million in a funding round led by Blockchange, with participation from Three Arrows Capital, Lemniscap, Distributed Global and a host of other venture capitalists.
A number of top executives of Web3 Foundation and Parity Technologies also participated, including Polkadot founder Gavin Wood, who said in a statement that Gear’s infrastructure efforts “will benefit our entire ecosystem.”
The announcement comes quick on the heels of a major milestone for Polkadot. The network’s first parachains – basically, layer 1 blockchains running atop the layer 0 that is Polkadot – went live on Saturday.
Polkadot on its own doesn’t allow contract development as it’s not an application platform but more of a kind of meta-protocol, said Gear Technologies founder Nikolay Volf, who was previously a core developer at Parity working closely with Wood over a six-year period.
“The grand goal is to provide a fast track for smart-contract development in the Polkadot ecosystem,” Volf said in an interview. “In terms of the technology, our approach to how different contracts interact with each other is a highly parallelizable architecture.”
Gear’s next move is to launch a testnet in early 2022, and pass third-party security and financial audits. A go-live date is estimated in the second half of the year, Volf said.
“Gear is a key ingredient to simplifying building blockchain apps,” Blockchange CEO Ken Seiff said in a statement.
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